Iran opens centrifuges to enrich uranium while trying to revive 2015 deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday (10) reiterated the country’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, while overseeing the inauguration of advanced centrifuges at the Natanz underground nuclear power plant on National Day of the nuclear technology.

Iran violated several restrictions imposed by the 2015 agreement on its atomic activities, in response to the US withdrawal from the pact, decided in 2018 by former President Donald Trump.

This week, Tehran and Washington began indirect negotiations mediated by the Europeans in Vienna, Austria, in an attempt to revive the deal in its entirety.

Representatives from the UK, China, France, Germany and Russia were present (the other current members of the agreement) and the chief coordinator of the European Union.

Without face-to-face negotiations – Iran has refused to meet directly with the United States – Europeans work in a kind of intermediary diplomacy, moving between the delegations of the two countries.

Saturday’s ceremony highlighted 133 breakthroughs in Iran’s nuclear industry last year, mainly in medicine, energy, agriculture and energy.

“Once again, I stress that all of our nuclear activities are peaceful and for non-military purposes,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state television.

“We remain attached to the non-proliferation treaty and to the world, not to deviate militarily from our nuclear program,” he declared.

The talks in Vienna are aimed at restoring the central points of the deal – restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of US sanctions.

Officially, both Iran and the United States insist they want to return to the deal, but disagree on who should take the first step. Therefore, the ongoing negotiations also aim to create a roadmap for a synchronized return to respect for the pact.

Even if there is an agreement, the verification may still take some time due to technical complications and lack of confidence on both sides.

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